Jubilee special: the best tech inventions of the last 70 years | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

When Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne in 1952, televisions were black and white, telephones had rotary dials, and Tim Berners Lee was little more than a glint in his father’s eye.

70 years later and the majority of people in the UK carry computers around in their pockets and a pair of virtual trainers just sold in the Metaverse for $80,000.

There’s no denying that things have changed drastically since The Queen was coronated.

In this post we look back at some of the most important technological advances and inventions of her reign.

1950s

At the start of the 1950s super glue and cling film hadn’t even been invented and you couldn’t buy a kitchen appliance in any colour other than white.

But then inventors put their foot on the accelerator and the decade became one of innovation.

In 1953, television programmes started broadcasting in colour and in 1955 the first microwaves were produced.

Major progress was being made in the computer world, too.

In 1956 the first computer hard drive was used.

Two years later, the modem was invented.

1960s

The headline news of the 1960s was undoubtedly the moon landing when Neil Armstrong took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.

But it’s important to remember that inventors had been making their own strides towards technological advances in the nine years prior to this momentous occasion, too.

In 1967, for example, IBM started working on the creation of a floppy disk.

A year later, the Intel Corporation was set up.

1970s

The 70s were an bumper year for technological advances.

In November 1972 the first commercial video game, Pong, was released by Atari.

In 1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen set up Microsoft.

Then in 1976 Steve Wozniak designed the first Apple computer.

Just before the close of the decade, in 1979, CompuServe started offering dial-up to the world.

1980s

Just like the production of shell suits and leg warmers, tech progression was relentless in the 1980s.

At the start of the decade around one million computers were being used worldwide.

By 1981, this figure had already doubled.

The 1980s was the decade of the home computer boom.

In 1981 IBM released its first PC and the Osborne Computer Corporation launched its ‘laptop’ – although weighing in at more than 11kg, it wasn’t that lap-friendly.

In 1984, the Apple Macintosh was released.

Then in 1985 Microsoft launched Windows 1.0.

On March 15, 1985, the first domain, symbolics.com, was registered.

Then in 1987, PowerPoint 1 was released.

By the end of the decade more than 100 million computers were in use worldwide.

1990s

The 1990s is the decade that the world got online.

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented hypertext.

By 1993, there were 130 websites on the internet.

A year later, two Sanford students launched Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web, which was renamed Yahoo!

In 1994 and 95, Amazon and eBay were launched.

Then in 1997, wi-fi became available to the general public.

The 1990s also saw the world’s first spam email being sent out and the first web cam being launched – the latter was set up by Cambridge University to monitor a coffee pot in the Computer Science Department.

The decade closed on a worrying note, as people speculated that the Y2K bug might render huge parts of the world’s computer ecosystem useless.

2000s

There were highs and lows in the technological universe in the 2000s.

On the plus side, the decade saw the birth of Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter. Apple launched the iPhone and Google introduced Street View.

On the downside, the LoveBug virus infected 2.5 million PCs and the number of SPAM emails sent in the world began to exceed the number of legitimate ones.

2010s

The 2010s was the decade the world moved to mobile and began to embrace smart tech and virtual reality.

In 2010, Apple launched its iPad and a year later Amazon released its Kindle Fire.

In 2014, Facebook took ownership of the Oculus VR company.

Then in 2015, the same year that Microsoft launched its Windows 10 operating system, Amazon unveiled Alexa and the Amazon Echo.

2022

Statistics from the State of Mobile 2022 report suggest that the average person spends four hours and 48 minutes a day using their mobile phone.

Other statistics suggest that two hours and 25 minutes of this time is spent scrolling through social media.

It’s also believed that most people use nine mobile apps every day and 30 apps per month.

In March 2022, a property sold in the Metaverse for $4.3 million.

In April 2022, Nike sold a pair of metaverse trainers for $80,000.

At the time the UK was celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a four-day weekend, newspapers were reporting that the future of parenthood could be having virtual children in the metaverse.

What will the next 70 years of tech invention look like? Watch this space.

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